How do I Become an Engineer?

Jennifer Leigh

Engineers work to create solutions to everyday problems using mathematics and science. The main types of engineers include chemical, civil, electrical, chemical and mechanical engineers. An individual who is good at science and math can become an engineer by receiving a bachelor's degree in engineering from a four-year institution, taking a standardized engineering examination and becoming licensed. Graduate degrees are offered for individuals interested in obtaining higher-level jobs in the engineering industry. An individual who desires to become an engineer should be logical, detail-oriented, creative and good at communicating with others.

Individuals interested in the field of engineering should be detail-oriented in school and work.
Individuals interested in the field of engineering should be detail-oriented in school and work.

Someone who wishes to become an engineer should have a propensity for science and mathematics, because much of the studies and work will focus on those areas. High school students should take classes in science, mathematics, English and social sciences to prepare for admittance to an undergraduate program in engineering. Many colleges and universities offer engineering programs, so the next step would be to apply for admissions to a school that is accredited according to industry standards. An accredited program makes it easier to become licensed after completing the program requirements and graduating.

Upon acceptance to an undergraduate engineering program, a student can work to become an engineer by taking the required classes in the program. Classes include chemistry, physics, life sciences, calculus and concentrated courses in a particular branch of engineering. Degrees are often offered in the areas of chemical, physical, civil and mechanical engineering, and they usually take four to six years to complete. Completing the degree requirements is the next step in the path to become an engineer.

Students who have completed an accredited undergraduate degree are eligible to take an examination on the fundamentals of engineering according to industry standards. Once the test has been passed, the student becomes licensed and can begin to work in the industry. To become an engineer with a job as a college instructor or in certain areas of research, it is necessary to complete a graduate degree in the field. Master's and doctoral degrees are offered in many engineering specialties. A graduate degree provides more experience in research and a deeper level of knowledge in the field.

Individuals interested in the field of engineering should be detail-oriented in school and work. Teamwork is an important component of engineering work, so good communication skills are vital. A creative approach toward problem-solving is also necessary, because engineers work to find solutions to problems in new and innovative ways.

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